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home : features : features November 20, 2014

12/24/2013 12:31:00 PM
Church turns old news into inspiring artwork
From left to right: Prescott Valley United Methodist Church Worship Committee member Mona Mason, Pastor Wendy Swanson and committee member Mona Rapsilber stand beneath the banner project entirely made up of local newspapers.
From left to right: Prescott Valley United Methodist Church Worship Committee member Mona Mason, Pastor Wendy Swanson and committee member Mona Rapsilber stand beneath the banner project entirely made up of local newspapers.

Briana Lonas

It's tough being tasked with creating an inspirational banner project without any budget, but the Worship Committee from the Prescott Valley United Methodist Church did just that.

The church needed a decorative element in preparation for an important conference that took place several weeks ago. The committee got busy and decided to turn the local newspaper into a message of hope and joy for the new year.

The project came from the church's bishop, who inspired the group during its annual conference, "to create an imaginarium," explained Pastor Wendy Swanson. "So I tasked these ladies to just imagine what you can do," she said.

And the ladies ran with it. Committee member Mona Rapsilber said that, "hands and hearts," worked together to come up with something unique and positive for the sanctuary wall. Once the ladies decided to use newspapers for the artwork, they started rolling the papers onto wooden dowels. Although the women still did not have a clear direction on what to do with the rolls, they kept at it knowing that the answer would eventually become clear. As Rapsilber recalled, one night the project just came into their minds and the next day the committee began placing and gluing the rolls into the displays now gracing two walls of the sanctuary.

"On each of the pieces, there are words of optimism, vision and positive direction," she said.

Each display took many hours to complete. Once the conference came and went, no one wanted to take down the display, Swanson said. She has noticed that the community is aware of the project and even other church groups are coming to see it.

The church priced professional banners and a good one costs more than $1,000, Swanson said.

"This banner work didn't cost anything. I just think it's phenomenal. These ladies have been tasked with so many different things, with no budget. Look what they have done," Swanson said.

The decision to use newspaper came from a desire to turn something that can sometimes be negative into a positive, according to the committee members. "As much as we love our newspaper the positive side is so minimal," Swanson said. "And with this (project), you can take the newspaper and there is positive in it. You just have to look beyond," she said.

"Once we read and then put the newspaper down, we still see hope. We still see a dream. And, we still see joy. It's a good message and for a banner in a church, it's an excellent message," Swanson said.

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